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Rhyme and Ride

Bite-sized brain snacks for Chicago’s early learners.


Act out the words to a traditional rhyme with your baby. For example, chant this rhyme while bouncing your baby up and down on your knees, going faster with each verse: "This is the way the lady rides, jiggety jog, jiggety jog. This is the way the gentleman rides, gallop and trot, gallop and trot. This is the way the farmer rides, hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy."

Why It's Important

Singing nursery rhymes is a great way to introduce new vocabulary words. Using gestures and movements to act out the words will help your baby attribute meaning to what is being said. In other words, your baby will begin to develop an understanding of the new words you're singing because of the clues provided by the motions.


Write down the names of some favorite nursery rhymes. Which ones does your baby like the best?

Not Ready Yet

If your baby is not yet ready to act out a nursery rhyme, sing it without the motions. Rock the baby back and forth in your arms to the rhythm of the rhyme.

Need a Challenge

Use toys or props to act out the words to different nursery rhymes. For example, if the baby has a stuffed bear, pretend the bear is going for a ride singing, "this is the way the brown bear rides, growl and roar, growl and roar..."

Book Recommendations:

"This Little Piggy" by Hannah Wood

Extend the learning:

Look for nursery rhyme books at the library. Read them out loud to your baby while looking at the pictures.